By Michele Lighthall
Atlantic News, Thursday, March 26, 1998
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
[Atlantic News photo by McGee]
HAMPTON -- Everyone is having "fun" at the "FUN" afterschool program at 40 Stickney Terrace in Hampton. Co-owners Lori Tarnowski and Mary Hollis have been in the childcare business since September of 1992; they first set up shop at the First Congregational Church on Winnacunnet Road in Hampton.
"We really liked our location but needed the added space because of the high popularity of our program," said Tarnowski.
The women decided to expand their program and moved to Stickney Terrace in September of 1995. The need for quality afterschool child care has continued; currently FUN has a waiting list, but both Lori and Mary have a solution:
"We are in the process of expanding the building in order for us to get re-licensed for approximately twenty more children;" explained Tarnowski.
"FUN" employs 5 full-time employees both male and female. They also have some high school students who are training to be counselors. The "Counselor in Training" program starts at age twelve. Along with the CIT training, FUN also offers babysitting courses, (for those who are age appropriate) CPR courses and FirstAid instruction. The age requirement is sixteen in order to be a staff member.
The majority of children who attend "FUN" are children in grades K-2, however FUN has many students in the middle school and junior high as well.
"We have several students from the junior high school who are involved in our afterschool program," said Tarnowski, "It's nice because the older kids really enjoy helping out with our younger members."
"At this point we are up to full capacity with eighty kids each day," boasted Tarnowski, "We are very proud of our program and like being able to provide a service such as this to the people of Hampton," Tarnowski stated.
The staff at "FUN" arrives daily at 7 a.m. and the work-day finishes at 6 p.m. The staff members serve snacks and the majority of the kids are there from 2 to 6 p.m. Each staff member has a degree in childcare or education.
One of the nice things about "FUN" is the location. "Our playground is fully fenced in and we have a check in and check out policy," said Tarnowski, "The area schools and bus companies have been very supportive of us and we really appreciate their cooperation."
"We like to consider "FUN" as the neighborhood we all grew up in," said Tarnowski.
In the summertime "FUN" runs a summer camp program with weekly sessions starting after the school year ends. The age group for the summer program is the same as the regular "FUN" Program: age's 5-14.
Tarnowski stressed the fact that all of the staff members spend a lot of time playing with the kids. "We play motor skill games and do arts & crafts and many other learning type of activities," she explained.
Both Tarnowki and Hollis know what children like. Tarnowski has two daughters' ages twelve and fifteen.
Her twelve-year-old attends "FUN." Hollis's children are ages thirteen and nineteen. Hollis's nineteen-year-old son attends college full time.
"FUN" is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on rates and availability, please call Lori or Mary at 929-4466.